Day 30: Joey

Day 30 brings us to the dog who began it all for me. The little black puppy who captured hearts around the world. The dog whose tiny, frail hunched-up body turned the stomachs of animal lovers everywhere. The starving, abandoned baby who, while forced to eat rocks to survive, introduced tens of thousands to the Tunica Humane Society and their mission. His story captivated the internet and he quickly became the poster child for "the little shelter that could."  

Joey brings me full circle. It was his story that convinced me THS was my shelter. I became emotionally invested in the residents of THS. Even though I had yet to meet them, I found myself caring deeply about each dog that found it's way onto my timeline.  Of course I wanted to help these animals but I also had become attached to the women and volunteers working tirelessly to save these animals who had been ignored, abused and discarded by society. This was my shelter.

And if you are reading this, this is your shelter too.

Although is my last official painting of my second 30 in 30 challenge, I will post a final summary from the month sometime next week. Please share with anyone you think might be interested and thanks, as always, for following along.

CLICK HERE to purchase this painting. Half the purchase price will be donated to the Tunica Humane Society.

Day 29: Ellie

She is sporting her orange for the VOLS big game. What a Blessed life she has. If you could only see the neighborhood where Ellie was rescued, along with her siblings. It truly warms my heart to see her so loved and so clean and fluffy. There was a time when she looked like a dirty mop!

Ellie's story as told by Sandy " I received a call from a woman in our county that had 3 dogs she no longer wanted around.  They originally belonged to her son, who had moved away and left his dogs behind.    Knowing the neighborhood like I did, I fully expected to find 3 starving pitbulls chained up to a tree when I arrived.   When I pulled up to the house, much to my surprise, came 3 precious little filthy dogs running to my car.  Their fur was deeply matted from months and months of being out in the elements.  They smelled to high Heaven.   I could instantly tell it was a mother and her 2 grown up pups.   They had no idea how neglected they were, they were just so happy to see a kind face.   One by one, they hopped into my car and we were off to a brand new life for this precious little family."

Help give more dogs like Ellie a chance... 

CLICK HERE to purchase this painting. Proceeds to be donated to the Tunica Humane Society.

Day 28: Nola

Another happy ending made possible by THS. You can help make those happy endings a reality. 

CLICK HERE to purchase this painting. Proceeds will be donated to the Tunica Humane Society.

Here is Nola's story as told by Sandy, "I have always felt that little Nola was saved by Grace. It was just by chance that I spotted her one day. No one had reported this puppy with a deeply embedded collar. I was in the neighborhood searching for another dog that everyone was complaining about. I only saw Nola for a very brief moment, but I knew she was in trouble.The deep wound and open gash on her neck were very visible even from across the street.

Nola wouldn't come to me. She wouldn't come to anyone. I am sure when was just a puppy, her so called owner clamped a flea collar around her tiny neck. And then, as the new wore off, she was thrown outdoors to fend for herself. Puppies don't do well on the streets. They need to be held and nurtured at a very young age. In Nola's case, as she grew bigger, she grew more fearful of people. All the while, that thick plastic band clamped on her neck was cutting deeper and deeper into her flesh. from what I could observe that first day, this little pup would not survive much longer. The collar had cut inches deep into her neck, nearly to the bone. Rescuing her was extremely urgent.

After several attempts, we were finally able to capture her. I rushed Nola to the clinic and Dr. Lisa said it was the worst embedded collar she had ever seen. She said it was a miracle the puppy was still alive. She was going to need around the clock care for weeks and weeks so the wound could be cleaned and dressed daily. That is when I put out a desperate plea for a foster family for little Nola. And that is when Nola's fairytale began.

A very special family stepped up to care for Nola. I knew they were extraordinary the first time I spoke to Kierstein on the phone. She was crying tears over Nola and she had never even met her. Kierstein and John picked the puppy up later that afternoon and they took such good care of her over the next few weeks. Her recovery was miraculous. No one could believe how quickly Nola's neck was healing. And no one was more proud than Kierstein. She sent me weekly updates and I could read between the lines. Nola had blended right into their home and into their hearts. We were thrilled the day they finally adopted Nola and made her part of their family. 

Nola is living the life every dog deserves. She is part of an amazing, loving family. If I were writing a fairytale, I could not think of a more perfect ending. Mom, Dad and fur kids?? They lived happily ever after...."

Day 26: Skipper

I love scruffy pups and not just because they're fun to paint :) Help raise money for THS so they can save more scruffy puppies.  

CLICK HERE to purchase this painting. Proceeds to benefit the Tunica Humane Society.

Here is Skipper's story as told by his mom, Gail  "I will always remember that freezing cold morning in November 2008. We arrived at our shelter to find a shoe box sitting at our gate. Inside the box were 3 tiny puppies, huddled together to stay warm. At first glance, they appeared to be perfect little puppies all different, a precious little scruffy one, a yellow one and a tan one. They couldn't have been more than 5 weeks old. As we took them in our arms, we were devastated to discover that the little scruffy puppy and the tan one, both had deformed front legs. We were new to rescue at that time and our hearts were shattered instantly. We were used to getting starved, mangy, sick dogs but this was our first experience with tiny helpless puppies. We actually talked about having them put to sleep because we could not imagine them having any quality of life. But our hearts would not allow us to let them go so I bundled them up and took them home with me.

Over the next few weeks, I watched these precious little puppies struggle to get their food bowls. They were slipping and sliding all over the place. I decided to fill their pen with lots of hay to make it easier for them to get around and it made a huge difference. They were so happy that they could move about so quickly. As they grew, relying on our vet's advice, we made the decision to amputate the deformed legs to help them with their balance. The little scruffy pup did great and suddenly, he was running around like crazy. We named him Skipper. The little tan pup did not do so well. His shoulder did not hold up under his weight so when he ran, his upper body dipped almost to the ground. We fondly named him Dipper. 

Skipper and Dipper were extremely bonded. We spent hours watching them run and play together. They never knew they were any different than all the other dogs at the our shelter. They had 5 glorious years playing together, sleeping together, always together. And then suddenly, we lost Dipper to kidney failure. We were so worried about Skipper for the longest time but he finally returned to his happy carefree self. Skipper is with us still. He comes out of his kennel each morning and jumps straight into our arms. He loves to give kisses and he loves to be petted and pampered.   

I will always cherish Skipper. He taught me a very valuable lesson early on in my rescue career. He taught me that is ok to be different, that all animals deserve a chance at life, regardless of their handicaps. There are a world of tripods out there who live wonderful lives because  people took the time to see the beauty within. I can't imagine my world without Skipper."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 .


Day 25: Cindy 2

Regal. And hopeful. Even though I have already painted Cindy this month, I kept coming back to this image. So here she is, a very regal Cindy (part 2.) I love this image of her, when she is finally safe and cared for. She was receiving the medical care she so desperately needed and deserved and I think she looks hopeful. 

If you're not familiar with Cindy's story you can read more here. Please help THS save more deserving animals like Cindy.

CLICK HERE to purchase this painting. Proceeds to be donated to the Tunica Humane Society.

Day 24 : Gidget

"Gidget is an Italian greyhound/chihuahua mix, quite a unique look. She was found covered in fleas and ticks and desperately in need of some TLC. But she is doing great now in her furever family.  Gidget was chilly at an event, so we found a stylish leopard print shirt for her." You can help THS save more dogs like Gidget.

CLICK HERE to purchase this painting. Proceeds will be donated to the Tunica Humane Society.

Day 23: Jonah

 Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of Jonah's  discovery. So one year and one day later we celebrate Jonah and all the other sweet souls that THS has saved. Help them continue their incredible work. 

CLICK HERE to purchase this painting. Proceeds will be donated to the Tunica Humane Society.

Here is Jonah's story from the THS 2016 calendar, "I thought I had seen it all until the day we discovered Jonah. What started out as a routine call from a woman complaining about her neighbor's dog, turned into one of our most heartbreaking rescues ever. We found Jonah lying lifeless on the concrete. His body, pressed against the front door of the house. It was freezing cold that day and just inside the house, everyone was warm and safe. They hadn't even noticed that this little dog was barely clinging to life, right on their doorstep. The woman called to tell me the dog was a nuisance. She wanted ;him removed from her yard. She hadn't noticed that Jonah was almost starved to death. And that his body was trembling from the brutal cold. She just wanted him gone. When Jonah arrived at the hospital, we had already accepted the fact that we were too late to save him. His body was already stiff. They couldn't get a temperature on him. Lucky Jonah, there was a doctor on duty that night fought hard for him. She wasn't letting him go down without a fight. For the first time in his life, he mattered and he didn't disappoint. He fought back just like Jonah in the Bible. After a series of blood transfusions, emergency surgery to remove bones and debris from his stomach, weeks and weeks of intensive care, Jonah left the hospital, a new dog. 

In the real world of neglect and animal cruelty, Jonah would have never survived. He would have died on that doorstep, completely unnoticed by the people inside. But in our world of Faith, Hope and Love, Jonah came out the other side. Today Jonah is a healthy, happy, hilarious pup. He makes us laugh with his funny antics. He makes us cry just watching him as he loves with all of his heart. He inspires us to never give up, even when all seems lost."

Day 22: Wally

I love happy endings and Wally has had his happen ending because THS facilitates miracles. I hope you will share this post with all the dog and art lovers in your life. 

CLICK HERE to purchase this painting and help be a part of the miracles happening everyday at THS.

Wally is another touching story demonstrating the power of love. I hope you will read his moving story told by the women who love him most.

"February 11, 2014 - I received a message about a little blind dog that had been dumped at the end of a gravel road. I drove to Tate County as fast as I could as soon as I saw his picture. What I remember most about him on the long ride to the clinic, was how defeated he was, as he sat in the seat next to me. He was overwhelmed with sadness. Everything on his body hurt. What kind of person could do such a heartless thing... What kind of person could have let him get in the condition he was in and then just throw him away... In the end, everything worked to the Glory Of God for this little dog because he found the family he was always meant to be with. He found Jodi. His name is Wally and he is the most precious little soul in the world.I have received so many messages asking for an update on Wally." 

"I am happy to report that Wally is doing wonderful! Many of you have followed his story from day one and have been through all the triumphs and setbacks. From cataract surgery and regaining his vision to struggling through heartworm treatment and his last hurdle with glaucoma and having his left eye removed. Throughout all of this Wally remains to be one of the sweetest pups ever. The unconditional love and bond that he and I share is unlike any I've known. We recently had to say goodbye to our 16.5 year old fur baby and one evening as I sat alone in the living room and had my emotional breakdown Wally came to my side nudged my arm and licked my cheek. From the day we picked up Wally I knew there was something special about him. Something unlike any of our other Foster pups. I just didn't realize how much he would touch our lives. We are so thankful to THS, Dr Lisa, and Dr Miller. Our sweet Wally will always be cherished and loved."